The Scott Elliott (Hurlyburly, The Women) staging of Wallace Shawn's world premiere translation began previews March 24 and opened April 20 at Studio 54. The limited run originally scheduled through June 18 now plays an extra week. Aszure Barton choreographs.
A mohawked Cumming (Cabaret, Design for Living) stars as the infamous Macheath opposite pop songstress Lauper (as Jenny) and fellow recording artist McKay (Polly) with stage veterans Gasteyer (Wicked, The Rocky Horror Show) and Tony Award winner Dale (Barnum, Joe Egg) (as Mrs. and Mr. Peachum) in the work based on the original Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill classic musical Die Dreigroschenoper.
Set in London in the 1800s, the The Threepenny Opera concerns a notorious bandit who marries a girl, much to the chagrin of her father. The peeved patriarch does everything in his power to imprison his son-in-law in this political and social satire. Director Elliott stages the two-act scene-and-song show with a nod to Brecht's signature style. (Shawn can be heard in voiceover.)
Also in the The Threepenny Opera cast are Christopher Innvar (Les Miserables) as Tiger Brown, Carlos Leon (Aunt Dan and Lemon) as Filtch and Brian Charles Rooney (The Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde) as Lucy. The ensemble features Adam Alexi-Malle, Terry Burrell, Brian Butterick, David Cale, Romain Frugé, John Herrera, Nehal Joshi, Christopher Kenney, Maureen Moore, Brooke Sunny Moriber, Deborah Lew, Valisia Lekae Little, Kevin Rennard and Lucas Steele.
The design team for The Threepenny Opera features Derek McLane (sets), Isaac Mizrahi (costumes), Jason Lyons (lights) and Ken Travis (sound). Kevin Stites serves as the music director. Actor-playwright Shawn last appeared on stage in Elliott's Off Broadway staging of David Rabe's Hurylyburly. He is known for his turns in the films "My Dinner With Andre," "The Princess Bride" and as the voice of Rex in the "Toy Story" movies. As a playwright, Shawn's works include Aunt Dan and Lemon, The Designated Mourner and Marie and Bruce. His screen adaptation of the latter, starring Matthew Broderick, is forthcoming.
Founding artistic director of Off-Broadway's The New Group, Elliott directed the current Broadway revival of Barefoot in the Park, Shawn's Aunt Dan and Lemon for his company and the 2001 Broadway revival of The Women for Roundabout. Other credits include Three Sisters, Present Laughter, Kiki & Herb: A Coup de Theatre, The Women of Lockerbie, Comedians and Smelling a Rat. A one time performer, he appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables and Ain't Broadway Grand.
Tickets to The Threepenny Opera at Broadway's Studio 54, located at 254 West 54th St., are available by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300 or online at www.roundabouttheatre.org.